1984 playlist

On games of 1984: I covered five British games all in a row, four of which were science fiction, which was pretty much just a coincidence. The games independently caught my fancy and only when setting up my slate for 1984 did I realize what had happened. I definitely ended up overemphasizing the 80s British games scene — it’s certainly not as important to the history of video games as the 80s Japanese games scene — but in my defense, it’s fascinating. There’s this whole confluence of technological and social and even geographic factors that created an isolated and unique scene, the likes of which become less common as globalization marches on. In terms of the behind-the-scenes conditions of production, also, the standard 80s model of British bedroom coders contracting to often-ludicrously-exploitative labels spiritually fits neatly between the American (Californian) bedroom coders that dominated our early 1980s and the more professionalized era we’re about to enter, though in actuality these were just three separate phenomena not a chronological evolution. Tetris and Tower Of Druaga also fit as foreshadowing transitions behind the scenes, and King’s Quest is an important transitional fossil of the Adventure Game.

On music of 1984: When I was young, 1984 was my least favorite year in music. I grew out of that opinion, but grew back into it in the process of making this playlist. I feel like this is also a transitional period in music, with a lot of vital, lively styles from a few years back being spent forces or close to it, while the next generation isn’t quite done cooking yet. Additionally, I just plain don’t like most of the dominant strains of music in pop and rock music that solidify in 84 and hang around for the remainder of the “high 1980s.”

Thinking in particular of Hair Metal and such. Van Halen’s “Jump” came out not just in 1984 but on the album 1984, and that song has really haunted me for the past year and change, always showing up to soundtrack my most miserable workdays, driving me up the wall with how often it gets repeated on the garbage classic rock stations I am forcibly subjected to as a blue-collar laborer. (7 times in 3 days when I counted once, which is about a representative sample.) Just a couple weeks ago I had to listen to my boss rhythmlessly mumble “Trump… might as well vote for Trump” to it. I fucking hate Jump so so much.

1984

  1. Laurie Anderson – Difficult Listening Hour [Live]
    I love Laurie Anderson’s United States Live, but at 4 CDs, it also gives me a feeling like it’s all the Laurie Anderson I’ll ever need. This is probably my very favorite part of it — alternate-universe stand-up comedy that just meanders out of satire into unsettling surrealist imagery. Very quotable.
  2. Anti-Cimex – Victims Of A Bomb Raid
    I wish I could do a DJ blend from the previous track into this one. For the next section of tracks, I want you to think of how far punk rock has come from Teenage Kicks [1978] and The Ramones and other 60s pop pastiches to its “hardcore” variant, a screaming vortex of quickened violence, often political. It wasn’t even done mutating yet.
  3. Scratch Acid – Monsters
  4. Flux Of Pink Indians – Blood Lust Rite
  5. Poison Idea – Cold Comfort
    Content warning for suicidal ideation, although the lyrics are indecipherable. Calling your EP “Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes” is a great way to market it to pretentious assholes like myself.
  6. Frites Modern – Je Bent Een Puist In Mijn Nek
    This is quite a bit more traditionally punk, just power chords and a shout-along hook. (Not that I can understand the words.)
  7. Reagan Youth – (Are You) Happy?
    I love the way the lead singer stops shouting to monotone intone “ha ha.”
  8. Husker Du – What’s Going On
  9. Killing Joke – Eighties
    This song is most famous for Nirvana modifying its riff for Come As You Are [1992], but while Nirvana used it for a moody simmer, Killing Joke used it for a banger.
  10. The Moodists – That’s Frankie’s Negative
  11. Minutemen – Viet Nam
    Everyone knows I like that post-punk slap-bass funk, and by 1984, Minutemen were basically the only ones left doing it. (Though some more affable dancier cousins are down at the end of the dance music section.)
  12. Karantamba – Na Dinding Fatty
    I was tempted to call this “old-school” for a second, but no, what it actually is is acoustic. This is from a live set, released archivally in 2012. Mbalax (the genre this is, if the databases I reference have it right) had a moment of international popularity spearheaded by Youssou N’Dour around this time, but Western enthusiasts of 1980s African music in the 2010s had their interest more piqued by obscurities with rawer sound like this than the slicker more-produced and even digitized sounds 1980s Western enthusiasts of 1980s African music preferred. To be fair, music nerds digging in older crates usually dig on rawer obscurities.
  13. Lowell Fulson – Think Twice Before You Speak
    This is a major throwback: a cover of a 1968 Al King song that’s just straightforward electric blues, by a bluesman whose first single was released in 1948 (or 1946, perhaps.) It’s worth noting that in the actual late 1960s Lowell Fulson himself was recording very James Brown-inflected tunes, most famously Tramp [1967]. Probably the aesthetic retreat is partially a musical veteran going back to their original passion, and partially a response to Stevie Ray Vaughn seemingly showing that electric blues was economically viable. I think this is a good performance of a good, menacing song with a good solo, and I don’t mind the ladled-on reverb on the drums and vocals, but what really captures my attention here is the rhythm guitar’s insistent staccato 16th notes that barely ever change tone. For most of the time making this playlist it was between Walking In The Dark and Sunglasses At Night, both of which create the same trick with synths.
  14. The Dream Syndicate – The Medicine Show
    Apparently, the gated drums on this record have been more controversial and discussed than its uncritical and repeated deployment of the g-slur.
  15. Iron Curtain – Tarantula Scream
    This song is really captivating. Better at being early New Order than New Order.
  16. Minimal Man – Pull Back The Bolt
    Minimal Man’s big bid for accessibility is still too idiosyncratic and cynical for mass appeal, but I think it’s ultimately to our benefit because his jaundiced stabs at pop rock made for a really good album. Exactly 30 years later, Tyler, The Creator really liked this song.
  17. Bloody Mannequin Orchestra – The Blender
    Other songs on this record include “Cool As Fuck,” a goofy funk vamp of tongue-in-cheek braggadocio and “Meal At McDonalds,” a clap-along dry comedy song about the thing it’s titled for. Suffice to say, they don’t take themselves too seriously. This track is a parody of that doomy, churning, horror-laden, non-singing, evasive post-punk I like so much. “This is what they call… Orwell!”
  18. Jun Togawa – Konchugun
  19. Cardiacs – To Go Off And Things
    Cardiacs’ debut is good. Restlessly madcap.
  20. Skeleton Crew – Not My Shoes
    Pretty catchy for deranged avant-prog.
  21. Half-Japanese – Too Bad About Elizabeth
    Half-Japanese had guitars, drums, bass and vocals, but they didn’t so much make music as something a lot like music. They used their tools as implements of an improvised primitivist racket that even I find excruciating to sit through. Then, partway through 1984, practically overnight, they decided to become a real group! With real songs, indebted to the blues and rock, that show they can play their instruments in usual ways! They kept their jagged, ramshackle edge, though: a loose off-kilter feel, constantly-running chaos sounds flitting around the edges, a yelping non-singer, et cetera, and the record trends from accessibility to abrasiveness as it goes. The result of their alchemy, Sing No Evil, is a stone-cold classic and far and away the best album of the year.
  22. Beat Happening – Our Secret
    I’ve seen people try to locate the genesis of indie or alternative rock in the post-punk explosion of the late 70s, but really, the genre of indie/alternative/college rock begins like, right now, right after REM debuts. It’s backtracking to 1960s pop rock like the Ramones all over again, but this time it sticks. Nevertheless, the progenitors of lo-fi twee indie pop are surprisingly proximate to Half-Japanese at this early stage.
  23. The Jesus And Mary Chain – Upside Down
    Now here’s an idea: Take that 1960s pop, and lace it with noise, but not noise like Half-Japanese makes noise… noise like harsh noise. And shoegaze was born. Watch out!
  24. The Replacements – Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out
    Oh hey, here’s where that poppy punkish stuff ended up. Cast out of the kingdom of being considered punk.
  25. The Fuzztones – Bad News Travels Fast
    It’s more than a little disconcerting to me just how much 1960s nostalgia there is in the zeitgeist at the genesis of indie/alternative rock. Here’s the logical endpoint, a group that takes as its mission to sound exactly like a Texas garage rock group, circa 1965-1967 (such as The Sparkles or The Outcasts.)
  26. Spinal Tap – Gimme Some Money
    Of course, this is unambiguously the most successful 1960s rock pastiche of the year, in terms of both popularity and devastating period-accuracy. I have heard this track deployed unironically as if it were an actual artifact of The British Invasion. Though I think the songs surrounding this are all good, it’s not a good sign when you can easily keep company with Spinal Tap.
  27. The Young Fresh Fellows – Young Fresh Fellows Theme
    An indie rock group makes a theme song for themselves, like they were The Monkees or The Banana Splits. It would be easy to take this as prototypical Gen-X slacker irony, but I think these guys are totally earnest that they want to be in a fun rock band with a theme song. The “slacker irony” is just self-consciousness that they’re no TV stars but just average guys.
  28. The dB’s – A Spy In The House Of Love
    It’s not fair, but it’s getting a little late for new wave songs! But nevertheless, this is utterly infectious. (Not coincidentally, both The dB’s and The Young Fresh Fellows are namedropped in They Might Be Giants’ song Twistin’ [1990], which is itself essentially their take on Amplifier, the previous track on the album this song comes from and simply the only song I know of that sounds so much like They Might Be Giants from before They Might Be Giants.) (And very coincidentally, the opening drumline always reminds me of The Roof Is On Fire, below.) Fun fact: There’s at least 5 songs called “A Spy In The House Of Love,” despite that being a mouthful.
  29. Microdisney – Idea
    I hear this is George Clanton’s favorite album, which makes sense. Popular 1980s pop was nothing like the imaginary of Chillwave, this is much more on the mark. (It’s so odd to be talking about the reconstructive 1960s nostalgia in the 1980s, then also be talking about the reconstructive 1980s nostalgia of the 21st century. Like 1984 isn’t allowed to just be itself.)
  30. Laughing Clowns – Eternally Yours
    The rest of this album is a nervous scratch, save this soothing, triumphant, sweet pop single.
  31. The Chills – Pink Frost
  32. This Mortal Coil – Another Day
    This is essentially just me putting two Cocteau Twins songs back to back, although this one has full-on traditional string orchestration. “This Mortal Coil” wasn’t an actual band but a studio construction by the label 4AD with a rotating cast of musicians on the roster, doing mainly cover versions, this one of a psych-folk song from Roy Hooper in 1970.
  33. Cocteau Twins – Donimo
    Even here, the Be My Baby [1963] beat makes a cameo appearance…
  34. Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
    I’m actually not too crazy about Prince (which I think I may have already said.) But this is a bop. Purple Rain as a whole, this included, is a pretty good argument that Prince was a rock musician.
  35. The Sound – Golden Soldiers
    This should have been a hit, except for the part where it’s completely out of step with 1984’s pop landscape. The Shock Of Daylight EP is another masterpiece by The Sound.
  36. Deckchairs Overboard – Walking In The Dark
    This, too, feels a bit behind-the-times.
  37. Corey Hart – Sunglasses At Night
    This song relies on a lot of the same tricks as the previous: A staccato synth beeping along, accompanied with a spacious bassline, in service of nighttime imagery. The big difference is that this song is proudly stupid as all hell, from the basic conceit of wearing sunglasses at night on down. It makes the same kind of turn as Kajagoogoo’s Too Shy [1983], pivoting from something ominous and atmospheric to a big 80s plink-plonk chorus.
  38. Cristina – What’s A Girl To Do?
    Ever wonder what dissonant, bitter Big 1980s Pop would sound like? It would slap, is what. Full of killer lines too.
  39. The Intruders – Who Do You Love?
    Catchy.
  40. Kimiko Kasai – Mmm Mmm Good
    Jazz-pop that’s actually full-on pop, in the poppy pop idiom of City Pop.
  41. Jocelyn Brown – Somebody Else’s Guy
    An incredible vocal showpiece, but the funky band doesn’t slack an inch.
  42. Kleeer – Tonight
    I think G-Funk relies more on smooth 80s ladies-man synth-funk like this than P-Funk.
  43. Videosex – Videosex
    I love how they pronounce “Videosex” like it doesn’t have any consonants besides “S”.
  44. Chaka Khan – I Feel For You
    Forget Purple Rain, this is Prince’s crowning achievement of 1984 in my book. On top of it being a song written by Prince, and being performed by Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder pitched in with harmonica, and Grandmaster Melle Mel gave it an iconic rap (probably pop’s first such dalliance.) Somehow, they’re all nevertheless upstaged by anonymous Reggie Griffin’s complicated, stuttering production and arrangement and funky bass-playing. Also features some record scratching, which inaugurates the next 10 songs of this playlist, all about the DJ.
  45. World Famous Supreme Team – Hey DJ [3.5 minute cut]
    This ostensibly Hip-Hop, but it is Pop through and through, and its bubblegum mass-appeal flavor is completely out of step with the next 18 songs — a real sign of the changing times, up against last year’s perfectly-natural integration of “Hey You (The Rocksteady Crew).” This song that’s a tribute to DJs and trading off of the new cultural cache of the group doesn’t even have any scratching in the short, mass-play cut. It’s more hesitant to engage with Hip-Hop than Chaka Khan. It won’t even specify that it’s about Hip-Hop DJs, preferring instead to cast a wide net that includes Country and Jazz DJs.
  46. Knights Of The Turntables – Fresh Mess (Dub)
    This is subtitled “The Knights fly to Mars and Venus, with their dog, woodpecker, and cat.” I don’t know why it’s labelled a dub when it has literally not a single element in common with “Fresh Mess (Jam… Your Radio.)” This is what a real turntablist record sounds like. 4 minutes in, introduces a melody that carries a surprising amount of pathos to accompany Woody Woodpecker.
  47. DJ Red Alert – Hip Hop On Wax Volume 2
    I hope you like primitive turntablism as much as me because here’s 9 and a half minutes of it. It’s interesting how many “volume 2” type appellations ended up in this part of the list; indicative of turntablism’s status as functional music, probably.
  48. Double Dee & Steinski – Lesson 2: James Brown Mix
    Double Dee & Steinski dropped the most important sequel of the year, of course, reviving hip-hop’s love of James Brown and funk music generally. (This isn’t turntablism, it’s a studio-produced cut-up record, as is the next one.)
  49. Genius At Work [aka Ser & Duff] – Big Apple Productions Vol. II
    This does a better job of summing up the period of 1982-1984 in dance music than I have. That stretch from 4.5 minutes through to the end makes me go wild, even including the part where it plays The Addams Family Theme [1964].
  50. Grandmixer D.S.T – Megamix II: Why Is It Fresh?
    This has quite a bit more structure than, say, Hip Hop On Wax Volume 2, and more of a cohesive progression than the previous two collage works. It has rappers this time, but that’s not the secret sauce here, they just fill space. It just generally feels more song-like, introducing, then developing and exploring ideas, building up and then back down (and that’s where the rappers come in in the interplay.) Also that bit at 5:56 needs to be taken up by some 21st century industrial rap act.
  51. Master O.C. And Krazy Eddie (feat. Peso & Tito Of The Fearless Four, and Main Attraction) – Masters Of The Scratch
  52. Kurtis Blow – AJ Scratch
    This song is a stone-cold classic for the first minute and the rest is just spinning wheels. (Heh.)
  53. Davy DMX – One For The Treble
    Davy DMX was the guy who did the scratching and iirc the drum machining (hence DMX) for Sucker MCs [1983]. Here he also shows off his watery bass-playing talents.
  54. Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three – The Roof Is On Fire [1985 re-recording]
    Using the more-familiar 1985 re-recording here on the same logic as when I use later recordings of Philip Glass and Steve Reich’s 1984 recordings below. The 1984 original recording has some record scratching when Rock Master Scott calls for it, while the 1985 version omits most of that to become a tool for DJs to use. It also has some reverb added to the drum machine that makes it hit softer, while the 1985 version has booming bass (probably under the influence of the immediately proceeding track.) If you haven’t listened to the song before or in a while, you’ll probably be surprised at just how very long it takes to get to the famous “The Roof Is On Fire” part! But even before then it’s a tour de force of sloganeering.
  55. T La Rock & Jazzy Jay – It’s Yours
    T La Rock is the older brother of Special K from the Treacherous Three and his famously multisyllabic opening (“Commentating, illustrating, description-giving, adjective expert,”) is clearly indebted to The New Rap Language. The important innovation here is actually how absolutely cranked that bass EQ is. Some people say LL Cool J bit his whole style off this song but I don’t hear it, especially since LL Cool J’s first song came out before this one. (There’s a whole debate about what the first Def Jam record released was… I still think it’s Hose [1982], because that’s funny.)
  56. Dynamic Force – It’s Not Right
    There’s a watery uh, mouth-harp sound that introduces and runs through this song that I think is supposed to be reminiscent of record scratching but is much stranger than that. Lyrically, a bunch of socially conservative personal responsibility stuff, but the chorus is fun. It seems that in 1984 you either party rap about your DJ or rap your point of view on social issues.
  57. Krootchey – Qu’est-ce qu’il a (d’plus que moi ce negro la?)
    You could accuse this beat of being behind the times, or ahead of its time with those wailing guitars, but I think it’s precisely of its time. Just a different configuration of common elements of hip-hop records than you get in New York City. And structurally compelling, something’s always happening.
  58. Kid Frost – Rough Cut
    Over on the West Coast, electro still reigned. Kid Frost manages to split the difference between rapping about the DJ and rapping about social issues. The scratching on this is by DJ Yella, who easily has the best pre-NWA discography of the members.
  59. The Treacherous Three – Santa Rap
    A pretty funny cynical satire about poverty. Pity about the parts where they say like “look at these” and it only makes sense if you’ve seen the movie — oh yeah, and the part where they talk about “GI Gay.”
  60. Mike Gee – Rapper’s Revenge
    For some reason there’s like eight Mike Gs in Hip-Hop, in Native Tongues, in Hieroglyphics, in Odd Future and more, which makes what I believe to be the original’s choice to use “Gee” seem prescient. Also prescient: I think this is the first rap song about hating your exploitative record label! (As a debut single, at that.) It careens clear into Wobbly territory, articulating a pretty orthodox left-wing view of labor relations and advocating for a strike.
  61. Steve Colt & Easy Rock – Never Die
    A Sucker MCs-style beat and they say “motherfucker” every other line. Hip-Hop has truly gone hardcore.
  62. Time Zone – World Destruction (Radio Edit)
    Time Zone is a supergroup: Afrika Bambaataa, John Lydon of Public Image Limited and The Sex Pistols, Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic, and a few other less famous names, although ultimately Bill Laswell’s style dominates. There’s a lot of specific and questionable political commentary in this song, but history has essentially shorn it into the amorphous political anger The Sex Pistols traded in, with its iconic needle-drops in The Sopranos [1999-2007], Mr. Robot [2015-2019] (which frequently signaled Sopranos as its primary inspiration, especially in its first season,) and as the theme song for the furious-history podcast Blowback [2020-2021]… none of which have anything to do with Nostradamus or the coming of the anti-Christ. (Though Blowback does touch on almost every other topic brought up in the lyrics.)
  63. Schooly D – Gangster Boogie
    Now THIS is ahead of its time. Not even talking about how this is arguably gangster rap just from the title, that’s pretty much right on schedule, I’m just talking about the sound. Seriously, I triple-checked that this actually came out in 1984 and wasn’t like, a 1987 re-recording or something and as best as I can tell it isn’t. Not least because Saturday Night The Album [1987] is uniformly more uptempo. Even if it were from 1987, “laid-back so much it’s downright woozy” wouldn’t be a part of anyone’s idea of hip-hop until EPMD or DJ Screw came along.
  64. Spontaneous Overthrow – All About Money
    This isn’t quite rap.
  65. Pale Cocoon – Toy Box
  66. Rhythm & Noise – Lull
    The bell sounds this resolves into sound uncannily like the ones in Bad [1987].
  67. Mark Lane – Sojourn
    Unfolds every bit of itself so methodically…
  68. Data-Bank A – Signals To Russia
    A series of good riffs that play well against their synth lines.
  69. Oto – Anyway
    Feels like an iteration on Devo’s Swelling Itching Brain [1979] that converts its ominous atmosphere into something more conventionally in the lane of dancey gothy industrial kinda stuff, with horror stings on guitar.
  70. Skinny Puppy – Smothered Hope
  71. Sally Patience – The Triangle Man
    A passing comet of a song. Gripping from the jump with its pummeling and unique combination of strings and synths. A shame those involved didn’t go on to do much else!
  72. Ohama – Where Do You Call Home?
  73. Telex – L’amour Toujours
  74. Doris Norton – Personal Computer
    Again, one of those songs you’d think I’d have found a place to use in an article. This song is interesting because it’s got one foot in the arpeggiation-heavy electronic music of the early 80s, but it’s definitely got a hard-stomping harsh-sawtooth edge to it. You could play this in a club.
  75. Digital Emotion – The Beauty And The Beast
    There’s a cut of this on YouTube right now that claims to remove “the cringey parts” and reduce its runtime by two minutes… but the part they cut is the Boney M-esque trading-off of “Oh baby baby baby don’t” that progresses into fake sex moans, which is pretty par-for-the-course for this kinda sleazy electro-disco and thus unobjectionable to me, and they left in the lame lame rapping. What?!
  76. Knight Action – R-Trax/D-Rail
    Hey! Full-fledged acid house in 1984! It even says “Trax” on the label! You know, I’ve talked a bit about House music on these lists, Larry Levan and garage house and such… but if it wasn’t for the Trax school of Chicago acid house starting up in 1985, which this is both an early specimen and prequel of, I strongly doubt “house” as a category would exist today and we would just call all that Paradise Garage stuff “disco.” And electronic music as a genre would instead have to have built off those New Age arpeggiation factories, which I like don’t get me wrong, but would be a tragic loss of edge and vitality.
  77. Z-Factor featuring Jesse Saunders – Fantasy (Instrumental)
    This is more like halfway to house, with all that guitar scratch. Jesse Saunders, the lasting big name involved here, also made a song this year called Under Cover by Dr. Derelict that’s almost certainly the first hip-house record. Funny how only a couple years ago you could make a case that both were just disco spinoffs, and now the idea is a real chocolate-and-sardines proposition.
  78. Shakatak – Down On The Street
  79. Pat And Pats – Tobago
    Really uplifting.
  80. Jasper Van’t Hof – Pili-Pili (Special Disco 12” Mix)
  81. Steps Ahead – Radio-Active
    Sax and vibraphone, for the club, you know!
  82. Konk – Your Life (Extended 12” Mix)
  83. The Higsons – Where Have All The Club-A-Go-Gos Went Went?
    Feels like the last stragglers of goofy dance-punk wander out around this time. This song is even literally about the end of that era!
  84. Philip Glass – Act I: Prelude [from Akhnaten]
    This is a bit of a swerve (and the playlist would probably flow better if you flipped the track order from this point to the end) but to me, this is absolutely an insistent banger. Get it on a bassy system! Also note how it’s built around a sinister flip of Zadok The Priest [1727], the British coronation anthem, which will forever sound Glassian to you now despite being friggin’ Handel.
  85. Steve Reich – Second Movement (Moderate) [from The Desert Music]
    It’s really really cliche to put Reich and Glass together, and they’re probably both sick of it, but here I go: 1984 was pivotal for the both of them in really similar fashions. Akhnaten and The Desert Music both see them leaving behind compositions that were engineered for their own personal, small orchestras (though for the original 1985 recording of The Desert Music, the Steve Reich Ensemble is folded into the Brooklyn Philharmonic.) In a similar maneuver, the music itself is a bit more conventional. Quite a bit in the case of Glass, whose extremely avant-garde Einstein On The Beach [1979] was recent memory when his next opera on the subject of a historical figure debuted with a nod to centuries-old classical continuity. For Reich, it wasn’t so drastic (similarity to Music For 18 Musicians [1978] is apparent,) but he never ventured as far-out in the first place.
  86. Toru Takemitsu – Riverrun
  87. Alfred 23 Harth/Heiner Goebbels – Die Reise Nach Aschenfeld
    This was on the playlist until it got deleted off YouTube. It looks like it may have been uploaded and then removed by Alfred 23 Harth themselves, having scrubbed their whole channel like the weekend after I added the song.
  88. Steve Lacy Seven – Stamps
    This starts with a rigid, martial dissonance before becoming a gentle cascade of chaos.
  89. James Netwon – Mr. Dolphy
    Jazz, no horn section. Hope you like violin and vibraphone like me!
  90. Jamaaldeen Tacuma – Renaissance Man
    Check out that extremely 1980s music video, and that swing from avant-gardisms to fast-paced bass groovin’ to Weather Channel intonation and then back to avant-gardisms.
  91. Duncan Lamont – Pressure Point
    This is the song they use in SpongeBob Squarepants [1999-2021] when SpongeBob has to learn to appreciate “free-form jazz” to be an adult. (Congratulations: If you made it to this part of the playlist, that’s you too!) Definitely indebted to era Ornette Coleman, but it’s much more cuddly and approachable, which is appropriate for library music that would later get used in a children’s cartoon
  92. Tomasz Stanko – Lady Go
  93. Diethelm/Famulari – Portrait
    Speaking of cuddly and approachable! Driving beat, beautiful falsetto, cutting-edge use of pitch-delay.
  94. Ayizan – Tribilasyon
  95. Embryo – Electraunico
  96. Wally Badarou – Mambo
    Sadly, not actual mambo. Very good though.
  97. TCP – Desert Rain
  98. David Van Tieghem – Number One
  99. Kuruki – Here Comes The Rest
    This feels like flying unaided. Good old arpeggiation.
  100. Laurie Anderson – From The Air [Live]
    In the studio version, this has clever words where an airplane crashes while the pilot calmly narrates, but here it’s instrumental because she has to sing the riff whole time.

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